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So, how does this work out?

Calaber

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OK, nobody seems to want to kick this particular section of the forum off (and I can understand why), but I have experienced something with my Captiva that has me bemused.

The car is an early model with the 3.2 Alloytec and a five speed auto. We have owned it for nearly a year and it has always been the thirstiest bastard I have owned since my V8 days. If it performed like a decent V6, I wouldn't mind, but it has the get up and go of a constipated camel.

However.....recently we had to replace the alternator. Since then, the car has run slightly smoother, the auto has been a bit less fussy, kickdown seems to work more readily and the fuel consumption has decreased, substantially. It's still not great, going from around 14.5 l/100km, to around 13 l/100km.

Now, it has to be as a result of improved output from the alternator, but has anybody got any ideas how a new alternator can have so much affect on a car that it actually runs better and uses less fuel?
 

showbags

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Maybe a cleaner, stronger spark from increased voltage giving a cleaner burn? Just guessing though, really got no fkn clue.
 

Tree cutter

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I would say it was because all the sensors were not getting the correct voltage. I know my Ducati motorbike will pop and fart and run like crap when the battery is flat and i jump start it. Put a new battery in and it runs perfectly.
Do you have a GPS in your Captiva? My boss owns a diesel Captiva that his wife calls the Craptiva because it has had a few problems since new. The GPS doesnt work now and our Holden dealer said the GPS cant find where it is,so it cant guide him to any destination. They said most of them have the same problem.
 

Ian Johnston

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If you disconnected the battery(which I hope you did) before fitting the new alternator, that may have something to do with it all. That will reset most of the electrics, and usually improves drivebility etc.
 

Calaber

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I would say it was because all the sensors were not getting the correct voltage. I know my Ducati motorbike will pop and fart and run like crap when the battery is flat and i jump start it. Put a new battery in and it runs perfectly.
Do you have a GPS in your Captiva? My boss owns a diesel Captiva that his wife calls the Craptiva because it has had a few problems since new. The GPS doesnt work now and our Holden dealer said the GPS cant find where it is,so it cant guide him to any destination. They said most of them have the same problem.
Nah, mine's a basic model with few frills. The GPS sits in the console - its a Tom-Tom. I suspect your suggested solution goes part of the way - the car has a multitude of electronics and sensors like everything these days and it obviously benefits from having a full charge at all times. The old alternator worked for about ten months before the warning lights started appearing and they would come and go as you drove a reasonable distance. The day things finally died, I had driven about 60km, during which the light had come on, then gone out about ten clicks before I stopped. When I returned to the car, it was as dead as a dodo. It was jump-started and the NRMA fellah checked the voltage which was very low and fluctuated between 9 volts and bugger all. The light had gone out and the car was running so we drove it home, and for a week, it performed well, then died again. Fortunately, we had ordered a new alternator and it was fitted that day. Whilst this was done, the battery was also disconnected recharged by the workshop.

I guess it all comes down to just getting a nice fat charge again, as suggested by a couple of you.
 

Gorilla62

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We've been considering purchasing a good low klm model for towing the camper and going of the paved roads a little.
Is any of the models better than others or is it just the early models we need to stay clear of.
 

ari666

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I would say it was because all the sensors were not getting the correct voltage.
^^^ this.

unplug the charge wire from my alt and the haltech starts behaving like a spoiled child. plug it back in and it smoothens out. simply cos the ecu itself and all the sensors need to get a nice stront 13+ volts to run properley. injectors need full charge to saturate, fuel pump need full charge to deliver pressure etc etc etc.
 

Calaber

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We've been considering purchasing a good low klm model for towing the camper and going of the paved roads a little.
Is any of the models better than others or is it just the early models we need to stay clear of.
My experience with the Captiva has been a mixed bag. It followed the best and most reliable car I have ever owned over forty years of driving and has not been anywhere near as reliable. It has needed a new alternator and throttle body because the TPS packed it in and it kept going into limp mode.

Fuel consumption on the 3.2 litre with five speed auto is frightful. If I had any idea how bad it was, I would never have bought the car.

Good points are:

Very quiet at all speeds.
Good driving position and comfortable seats
Good equipment levels, even on the base model. This has increased substantially over the years and with the Series 2.
Good brakes

If you are buying a Captiva, stay away from the early models if you can, particularly the V6. The four cylinders are also supposed to be a bit of a gutless and thirsty dog. The diesels are the pick of the bunch, though I've never driven one.

Get a series 2 if you can afford it. They have been constantly updated and refined and would be a better car for it.
 
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Calaber

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^^^ this.

unplug the charge wire from my alt and the haltech starts behaving like a spoiled child. plug it back in and it smoothens out. simply cos the ecu itself and all the sensors need to get a nice stront 13+ volts to run properley. injectors need full charge to saturate, fuel pump need full charge to deliver pressure etc etc etc.
Thanks Ari, Pretty much as I suspected. The improvement in driveability and economy has been pretty surprising.
 

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I would say it was because all the sensors were not getting the correct voltage. I know my Ducati motorbike will pop and fart and run like crap when the battery is flat and i jump start it. Put a new battery in and it runs perfectly.
I'd go with that one. The E3 went spastic recently when the battery was on the fritz. New battery and it was running perfectly again. After that I could perfectly understand if the alternator was under charging you would have all sorts of stupid unrelated issues that throw false codes but are near impossible to pin point.

ps. never even knew there was a Captiva section :s

We've been considering purchasing a good low klm model for towing the camper and going of the paved roads a little.
Is any of the models better than others or is it just the early models we need to stay clear of.
Get the newwest one you can afford. IIRC there was a update sometime last year which was a huge improvement in many areas. None will be what you call great on fuel but that's more based on the class of vehicle than the Captiva it'self.
 
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